The Elder

Late October, back when I was without a deer lease, it was an Indian summer day, a four tide day with light wind to boot, unusual for a weekend, especially Saturday, because generally, it’ll blow hardest then! Having passed on an offshore trip with Dewey and Bob, the college football games were not very interesting, so I decided that I’d drive down to Bayou Vista, launch my 13 foot Whaler and see if there were any birds working in the bay.

Calling Mack Mitchell, he said he’d love to give it a shot, so I drove by and picked him up. On the way down I told him we’d be using artificial only on this trip, mostly jigs, but I wanted to try out a fresh water bait, a plastic worm. For the past couple of weeks, I’d been kicking the idea around and had decided to attach a 6 inch worm to a ¼ ounce jig head, this would not be too much weight, anyway I’d be using light casting gear with a 7 foot rod, so with the wind, I could cast it a “mile”. Mack opted for a bigger jig head to go along with his traditional trout outfit.

This was back before I had a boat stall behind my house so we went and launched at Dewey’s on Tiki Island and everyone believed that just by happenstance, this was the best launch ramp on the Texas coast! We launched the boat and without further ado, parked the car and sped off to the 6, foot water around the wrecked shrimp boat. This was a trout haven, all the way to Green’s Cut and the best starting place to look for fish.

Motoring slowly down the old Intercoastal Waterway we spied birds circling and diving on what probably was speckled trout feeding on shrimp. The specs drive the shrimp to the surface, the birds spy the tell tale dimples on the water made by the shrimp evading the fish and the birds then dive on and secure the hapless shrimp, classic food chain stuff! We both cast into the melee, me with my 6, inch plastic worm and Mack with his Tout Tail, connecting with 2 solid strikes, looks like my freshwater rig works OK. It didn’t work OK because my fish threw the hook, so I reeled in and netted his fish, a solid 2 pounder. This late in the year the specs have all summer to gorge and grow so this wasn’t a 10 or 12 incher of the summer, but a full grown fish.

Because of the commotion we made the birds had left, but I assured Mack the fish would still be there and casting back out, we both were rewarded with 2 solid strikes. Netting both fish, more 2 pounders, we cast back out and nothing. Staying in this area for 10 more minutes, the fish had left, so we resumed our motoring down the bay.

Another bird school, 4 more specs fell to our offerings and we motored on, looks like my freshwater rig works OK on specs. We found one more bird school and picked up a single trout and then, once the tide changed, the fish stopped feeding, hence, no bird activity, so we headed back to Dewey’s.

The offshore trip had ended, the fishermen were sitting out in Dewey’s back yard, Bob, Dewey and their wives and another couple unknown to me. Adult beverages were offered to Mack and I, we declined and set to cleaning our specs, no offer of help was made so we finished and iced down the filets and bid adieu to the partiers.

Mack, an Elder in his church, chuckled that it looked like they were having fun, but I told him, “We had fun too, much better fun and we even caught some fish!”